Biology of the wool follicle: an excursion into a unique tissue interaction system waiting to be re‐discovered

    November 2006 in “Experimental Dermatology
    George E. Rogers
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    TLDR The article concludes that the wool follicle is a valuable model for studying tissue interactions and has potential for genetic improvements in wool production.
    The 2006 review article explores the biology of the wool follicle, highlighting its significance as a model for tissue interaction research and its economic relevance to the wool industry. It discusses the molecular controls of tissue interaction, the impact of photoperiod and nutrition on growth, and the potential for genetic advancements in wool production. The article reviews findings on the relationship between follicle density and fiber diameter, the importance of the Wnt signaling pathway in follicle development, and breeding strategies for finer wool. It also examines the role of stem cells in new fiber formation, the genetic and nutritional factors affecting wool quality, and the influence of stress and dietary deficiencies on wool growth. The potential for selective breeding to improve husbandry and the use of growth factors for wool harvesting are considered. Additionally, the document addresses the challenges and outcomes of genetic engineering in sheep, the pigmentation of wool, and the need for further research in follicle morphogenesis and hair growth control.
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